Thinking about aquariums, you will usually picture barrier reefs, colourful fishes and anemones. But the mix of colours and sea creatures can also be reproduced in freshwater aquariums with tanks, recreating the ecosystems of the great rivers of the world.
Speaking about freshwater, we have to mention the Discus, which is considered to be the king of the river fishes. Originally from the Amazonian part of the South America, it belongs to the family of the cichlids, the one with the widest range of species, and it is one of the few freshwater fishes living in school.
The Discus seeks the company of other specimens and for this reason it has to be in a couple - once they become at least 14 centimetres long - or in groups of 10 fishes.
In the wildlife, the Discus lives in sandy sea bottoms and roots and often, it finds better living conditions in aquariums rather than in the nature.
Another peculiarity of this fish is its aptitude to the captivity growth. Besides specimens caught in nature, you can also find ones coming from Asian and German livestocks.
German is one of the main wholesalers, with the Stendker livestock, the biggest European one exporting its Discuses all over the world. The story of this livestock began with two Discuses, in 1965, which contributed to the growth of more than 1000 other fishes.
The captivity-growth Discuses give better results than the caught ones, because they are already familiar with the environment and, with a regular diet coupled with the respect of the light cycle, these cichlids can live up to 15 years in a tank. Stendker farm use usally tap water for their Discus (parameters are dGH15, dKH8, pH value 7, 800µS conductivitiy, water temperature of 29-30°C) also is important feeding 3 times a day with a complete feed mix like Stendker GoodHearth to have bests results.
A huge plus of this kind of Discus is that it can easily be coupled, so that it can reproduce itself in the aquarium.
In order to let them reproduce, it would be better to place the couple in an apposite tank, 50 centimetres wide. If the tank is free from other accessories, the Discuses will lay their eggs on the walls of the tank. Otherwise they will lay them on a tube or a cone placed in the tank. During the brood period, you can see both fishes ventilate with the pectoral fins the laying, to increase the flow of oxygen to the eggs.
If the values of the water will be good, the eggs will hatch after about 60 hours. Also in this case the couple works together, helping the larvae to get out by taking them in the mouth, to replace them in the same place of the hatch.
After a few day, the larvae will leave the place of the laying to stick to their parents’ bodies, covered by a mucus, to help their the transfer. With the ideal conditions, the LARVE will become small Discuses within 25 days, ready to form new groups and couples.